On Monday, THQ Inc. announced they have reached an agreement to transfer their exclusive license with Zuffa, LLC to publish video games based on the Ultimate Fighting Championship to Electronic Arts Inc., effective immediately, in exchange for an undisclosed cash payment.
“Over the last three years, THQ has delivered best-in-class, all-encompassing experiences to MMA fans, sports enthusiasts and fighting gamers around the globe with its ‘UFC Undisputed’ series. We want to thank them for their stewardship of our brand,” Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Fertitta stated. “We look forward to joining forces with EA to leverage their sports platform, and expand our brand in the video game space.”
THQ released three editions of “UFC Undisputed” for the XBox 360 and PlayStation3 consoles during their watch. The latest installment hit shelves this past February, and while it featured several improvements from its two predecessors, button-mashers weren’t rushing to their stores to buy it.
With disappointing sales, THQ decided to cut their losses and bow out of the mixed martial arts arena.
“We have relished our relationship with UFC over the last several years and believe that the UFC gaming brand is in great shape,” said THQ Chairman Brian Farrell. “THQ’s more focused strategy moving forward meant that transferring the license to EA made sense to all parties. We would like to thank UFC for their great support and partnership and wish EA all the best moving forward.”
THQ’s loss is now EA Sports’ gain.
“We’re incredibly pleased to announce today the start of a multi-year, multi-game partnership between EA Sports and the UFC,” Head of EA Sports Andrew Wilson stated at E3 in Los Angeles, California.
EA Sports released “EA Sports MMA” in October of 2010 to mixed reviews. The game was mostly comprised of Strikeforce fighters.
No word on when the gaming giant will launch the UFC series.
(Pictured: Jon Jones from “UFC Undisputed 3”)